Browsing the archives for the shaw tag.

Don't look at me!

Written on March 17, 2009 by

Look, Shaw, you’re not getting word one out of me until I see this video extolling the virtues of Harry Potter.

I’m stinkin’ excited!



What's in Your Pockets?

Written on March 7, 2009 by

The clothes we wear, the music we listen to, the websites we frequent tend to reveal a lot about who we are. In fact, pretty much everything we do drops subtle or not-so-subtle hints about how we live our lives: messy room, messy person; clean room, obsessive compulsive person.

Today I want to cover another revealing aspect of our lives: What’s in Your Pockets? I honestly want to your feedback to hear what you carry around in your pockets, but I’m not expecting you to reveal that personal information without a little something from me.

So, What’s in my pockets?

Front left pocket: iPhone and Wallet.

The iPhone is a pretty standard affair now, so nothing to cover there, but “Wow, wallet in the front pocket?” I know. It’s not that I’m obsessed about pickpocketers, I just decided a long time ago that I hated having a “painful to sit on” wallet hanging out in my back pocket. To rectify this, I used my duck tape skills to make myself a very simple, one pocket wallet. Sure, multiple pockets would be nice, and sure I’d like to carry around every single sliver of paper I own in it, but this simple design keeps it thin enough to stay in my pocket with my phone and helps me keep my wallet down to the bare essentials. Usually “the bare essentials” include my driver’s license, debit cards, $20 cash for emergencies, and an RFID keycard to get into work.


The wallet was extremely simple to make, I just added the stripe to give it a unique design and add a nice little challenge for myself. If there’s enough interest, I may even put together a tutorial on making one.

Front Right Pocket: Keys, thumb drive, multi-tool, a pen and chapstick.

It may seem like a lot to carry, but it’s manageable provided the keys don’t get turned to jab into my leg. The keys are pretty standard keys, but the keyring holds both my thumb drive and my multi-tool.

Thumb Drive

My thumb drive is a Pico 8gb USB Flash Drive, which is not much bigger than my thumbnail, yet holds the same amount as a two burnable DVD’s. This little beauty is built like a tank, and is perfect for keeping in your pocket for impromptu file transfers. I originally purchased it for $50, and currently the price has dropped to $29.99! That price is fantastic even for a normal sized 8gb thumb drive! Well worth the price.


Another product I found through ThinkGeek, the amazingly tiny Utili-key Multi-tool. A Phillips head screw driver, flat head screw driver, eyeglass screwdriver, bottle opener, and a knife with serrated blade all in one tiny little package not much bigger than a key. The multi-tool easily clips to your keyring and blends right in until you need it. It’s a small investment to make at just $9.99, but the feeling of always having the tool you need is priceless.

Pen 1
Pen 2

Another tool I carry around is a collapsible pen. It’s incredibly useful to always have something to write with, and this compact Zebra pen is simply amazing. The form factor is perfect to fit in your pocket, but it extends so you can write with a normal sized pen and not cramp up your hand. Awesome.

The fact that I carry chapstick in my pockets may have stuck out to you. I must confess that I’m absolutely addicted to chapstick. But it has to be good chapstick, not the cheap stuff like the actual Chapstick brand which leaves you feeling worse than before you put it on. The good stuff is Burt’s Bees. I don’t know what all goes into it, or how they give it the minty smell, or why it feels so amazing on your lips. All I know is it’s the only chapstick I’ve found that really works. Everything else always leaves my lips feeling dry after a few minutes. This probably sounds like product placement at it’s worst, but I’m seriously a huge fan of this stuff. If you’ve never tried it, do yourself a favor and get some. Your lips and the people that kiss them will be endlessly thankful. You’re welcome.


There you have it; my soul and pockets laid bare for all to see. Now it’s your turn.

Share your pocket contents (excluding lint) in the comments, or if you have pictures, please send an email over to I’ll make a post with some of the most interesting pocket collections I’m sent, so empty your pockets and grab your camera!


Texas Rodeo

Written on February 28, 2009 by
blog, informative

Everything is done a little differently here in Texas. This week, schools get out early and roads are shut down because of an old fashioned Texas Rodeo.

Did I say roads shut down? Oh yes. It’s a Texas tradition to have a “trail” ride on horseback down some of the busiest roads in Houston, and I got to witness it. Traffic stretches on while horses do their business on the pavement. How picturesque!

Yesterday featured another big event of rodeo week called “Go Texan Day.” Business men swap their suits for jeans and boots, silk ties for bolo ties, and my roommate claims he saw a twenty gallon hat. I think I got away without wearing the full garb since I’m a newbie. Next year, I’d better have some western gear or I might be taken out for an old fashioned hanging!

All of these events are just the beginning. All next week there will be rodoes, country music, and more square dancing than your boots can handle.

Random happenings like this are one of the many reasons that I love living in the fastinatingly weird Texas. I know Texas isn’t alone in these unusual events; what are some of your hometown traditions?


RSS: What & Why?

Written on February 10, 2009 by
informative, technology

Out on the wild and untamed frontier of the interweb, many locales are vying for your attention. No doubt there are plenty of “regular stops” on your daily or weekly web safaris; websites that provide you with entertainment, news or time wasters.

But don’t you get tired of typing in those long convoluted web addresses like You might even have to put “h t t p colon forward slash forward slash w w w dot” in front of it! Or how about those websites that don’t update regularly, like when it’s Ringl’s turn to post here on Warptubes! (Hey-o!)

What if I told you that you could go to one place and get everything you wanted from all your favorite websites whenever new content was posted? My friends, the dream is a reality.

Most websites on the internet have something that we in the “biz” call a RSS Feed. What in the world is a RSS feed? Say you find a magazine in the grocery store that you really like. It’s a pain that next month you have to go to the grocery store again to pick up the newest issue. It’s so much easier just to subscribe to the magazine and have the new issues sent to you! That’s the magic of RSS. When you subscribe to an RSS Feed, you will get the latest updates from that website sent directly to you!

Want to get started? Just follow along here. In order to subscribe to a RSS Feed, you need a Feed Reader (called an “Aggregator” in the biz). Blah blah blah, technobabble. You just want a link and a tutorial. Follow along:

Go to


Google Reader is like the mailbox in which you receive your magazine subscriptions. It grabs the latest news and articles from websites and puts it all in one place for you to access from any computer. For a simple break down of what exactly Google Reader does and how it can assist you, watch this video:

To start adding websites, sign in. If you don’t already have a Google account, click “Create an account” in the bottom right.

Once you’ve made an account or signed in, you’ll see the main screen with some introductory information


Now for the fun stuff! Click the picture-3 button in the top right and type in one of your favorite websites. For instance, “Warptubes” or “”


Google will then find the website or feed it thinks you want. Look for the one that seems right, then click “Subscribe”


From then on, your favorite websites will show up on the bottom right under Subscriptions. The number next to the Subscription name is how many new unread items have come in.picture-7

When you’re checking out your Subscriptions, the new articles and updates will come through looking like this:


It’s not exactly the same as you’re used to seeing from your favorite website, but all of the content will be there and will look much cleaner with a lot fewer ads (if any!). I call that a sweet deal. If you do need to see the article in its original context, just click the title at the top. That link will take you straight to the page where the update was posted.

Not sure if your favorite website has an RSS feed? If Google couldn’t find it when you clicked “Add a subscription”, then look around on the website for a icon that looks like this:


Click on that and copy and paste the URL into Google Reader’s “Add a subscription” box, and viola! You’re set.

Google Reader has revolutionized my internet browsing and brings all the content I want directly to me. This tutorial will hopefully save you some time, too, while still getting all the news and articles you’re used to!

This ended up being a long post, but if you followed along and can get into the habit of using Google Reader, you will be much better off!
Still not sure about something? Have some questions? Post in the comments below and I’ll give you some advice.


– Shaw


Klingon Boggle

Written on February 5, 2009 by

If you’re hip and follow the same news sites as I do, you may have caught this interesting tidbit about a man robbing some convenience stores.

Pretty boring so far, right? Wait until you read this: the robber used a Bat’leth to threaten the cashiers.

Not so familiar with a Bat’leth? I don’t blame you. Not everyone is an ultra-nerd, even I had to get some context before I realized what the news articles were talking about. Think the war-driven Klingon race from Star Trek. Bat’leths were the strange sword/knife-like weapons they possessed, which seem pretty capable of dealing out some damage.


I would definitely not want to be on the business end of that thing.

Fortunately no one was hurt, but the robber still hasn’t been caught. The funniest part about the whole story is that both clerks that got held at Bat’leth-point instantly recognized the Star Trek weapon! The cashiers are apparently huge nerds, but we’re still uncertain about the robber himself.

Is he a huge nerd seeking payback for all the times he was picked on, or simply a thug who grabbed the first pointy object he could find to score some quick cash? Either way, this guy will probably be in some pretty serious trouble when thrown into the closest prison.

What’s next? Bank robbers using lightsabers? Car hijackers using phasers? Only time will tell.


Funniest parts of the article:

  • The robber hit two convenience stores. The second one didn’t give him any money
  • The comments on the article: several of them are written in the noble Klingon language
  • In the article itself: “He also demanded money from the store clerk. The clerk refused and the robber “transported” himself out of the store on foot.
  • This actually happened!


Comments Off on Klingon Boggle

I Can Make Music!

Written on January 31, 2009 by

A quick note: I haven’t been able to actually try out this software myself, but these results are just horrifying and speak for themselves.

How many times have you come up with a great melody with the perfect lyrics, but just can’t make the music to go with it?

Unless you’re Imogen Heap, the answer is probably never.

But luckily for you, Microsoft is here to solve a problem you didn’t have with SongSmith! This software allows you to sing whatever your heart desires, and it’ll magically create karaoke music to go along with it! Don’t believe me? Watch this astoundingly awful infomercial. (Pause the video at 3:15 for a quick laugh)

The best part? “Microsoft, huh? So, it’s pretty easy to use?” The irony just oozes out!

The results produced by Songsmith range from “Acceptable for a impromtu late night karaoke” to “Where are my earplugs?” People on the Interwebs have used this software to ruin such classics as “Tom Sawyer – The Skating Rink Mix” and “Backwoods White Wedding.” Not even Internet Phenomenons like Chocolate Rain and Never Gonna Give You Up are safe. Song after song after song are processed into this terrible excuse for music.

One possibly useful feature is quickly getting the chords to your vocal part, but the music Songsmith makes in its current state is just… yikes. Microsoft’s terrible advertising for it sure doesn’t help.

Perhaps in a few years, software like this could produce some decent music, but I recommend skipping Songsmith for now, unless you feel compelled to create a Warptubes theme song…


I could be mistaken, but isn’t the girls laptop a Macbook Pro? The USB ports are in the right place.


You aren’t mistaken. It does appear to be a Macbook (Pro?) with stickers to cover up the logo. Looks like someone’s using Bootcamp!


Letter to the Editor

Written on January 27, 2009 by

We at Warptubes get a lot of fanmail. Here a particularly interesting one sent in by my new roommate, JD.

Dear Warptubes,

Great blog, I love what you guys do. I keep getting questions about what its like living with the man that is Shaw… Well here is a little glimpse into a day in my life with Shaw.

6:45 – 7:00 AM – Shaw wakes up playing (and singing) Rick Astley at max volume from his room.

7:00 – 7:15 AM – Makes me breakfast in bed… Usually blueberry muffins and fruit rollups.

7:15 – 7:18 AM – We both pledge allegiance to the Texas State Flag and sing the national anthem “All my Exes live in Texas”.

7:18 – 7:45 AM – Shaw shampoos his hair using his Darth Vader no more tears shampoo, and then proceeds to style his hair like Conan O’Brien

7:50 AM – Shaw leaves for work on his Segway.

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Work work work (really, I think its his job to come up with new LOST theories)

5:05 PM – Shaw arrives home from work usually finding a sock on the door… He proceeds to get back on his Segway and waste time for about an hour

6:05 PM – Returns home and we eat and play Wii for a few hours before passing out on the couches (separate heterosexual couches).

– JD

Hey JD! That was a little more revealing than I would have liked, but thanks for writing. You did leave out a few details, though. Mostly how I’m awoken at 6:30 by your early morning drumming practice on my door demanding my iPod Touch to play Fieldrunners.

If it happens again, I’m starting the Rick Astley at 5:45am.

– Shaw


Everything's Bigger Here

Written on January 22, 2009 by

If you’ve wondered why I haven’t been updating lately, that’s because I just moved to Houston, TX. I’ve never considered myself a fan of cowboy boots and big belt buckles, and yet now I find myself a Texan. Progressing from a sparsely populated beach town in Florida to the fourth largest city in the U.S. isn’t a simple move, but I’ve been fortunate enough to not run into any problems yet.

For those who haven’t been to Texas, let me give you something simple to remember when visiting: Texas is the Greatest State. Those are not my words, but ask any true Texan and you’ll quickly find out that Texas is not to be messed with. I’m not yet sure why Texans have such a deep dedication to the Lone Star State, but I would recommend a nod and a smile when hearing how amazing Texas is.

All stereotypes aside, I have been quite surprised to find that the vast majority of people here are not thoroughbred cowboys. In fact, I haven’t seen any large hats yet. I realize Houston is practically its own state, but this is Texas! You would at least expect to find at least one hardcore buckaroo.

Some of you out there have expressed concern that Warptubes will die off due to Ringl and I no longer being in close proximity. Rest assured that this is far from the truth. We hope to have it thrive even in our absense from each other. Things will naturally change, but after the initial adjustment, we will find our rythmn and still provide you quality entertainment.

In the mean time, I’m going to find some good Tex-Mex.

– Shaw

1 Comment

For our Lost fans

Written on January 21, 2009 by

Wondering who the lady at the end of the season 5 premiere is?

Her name is Ms. Hawking. We ran into her way back in Season 2, episode 8 after Desmond first time traveled. He tried to change the future by marrying Penny and thus never crashing on the island. The woman selling him an engagement ring attempted to convince him not to go through with that. She then revealed she knew who he was, what he would do in the future, and that he had to do just that.

Yes, I am a walking encyclopedia of Lost knowledge… and for the stuff I don’t know, I look up on Lostpedia.

If you are not a Lost fan, please disregard this message. Don’t worry, your regular Thursday update will not be delayed.

– Shaw


LifeMINUS Sugar: The Final Hours

Written on January 2, 2009 by

As I write this, I only have two hours left. Two hours until I can have some crispy crunchy funnel cakes covered in delicious powdered sugar.

This week has been interesting. I wasn’t expecting it to be as much of a challenge as it turned out to be. Having self control wasn’t too hard, but finding food that was safe to eat was difficult. Nearly everything we consume on a day to day basis contains sugar to some degree. It’s not that our regular diet is unhealthy, necessarily. Our diet just needs to have balance. Overloading on anything is never healthy; moderation is key.

But enough preaching… LifeMINUS has been fun and has had some interesting reactions from everyone Ringl and I have talked with. Most people don’t understand why we do this, and I doubt Ringl and I really do either! It’s still quite a fun social experiment.

Food Consumed – Day 6:

  • Breakfast/Lunch: Bananas, Eggs and Bacon
  • Dinner: Cheeseburger with Mustard

Food Consumed – Day 7

  • Breakfast: Eggs and Cheese
  • Lunch: Chicken strips and fries from Whataburger
  • Dinner: Pizza

Overall, I ate way too much chicken and I overloaded on potatoes. What a sucky diet.

Well, Ringl and I wold like to make LifeMINUS a regular feature, but we want to hear from you. What would you like to see more of, or what would you like to see us do for the next LifeMINUS? Leave some comments and let us know!

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